Tag Archives: gender

The Face of Gender Equality in Turkey

Thousands of Turkish women took to the streets of Istanbul last week to draw attention to the murder of a woman in a minibus taxi in Turkey. Women’s rights organizations note that violence against women in the country is on the rise, and several organizations are calling for equal rights for women in society. The groups accuse the Turkish government of an “insufficient response” in addressing gender-based violence, and in particular for normalizing the rape of non-conservative women in Turkey.

Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old psychology student, was killed by three attackers while resisting a rape attempt on her way home from university. Her burned and dismembered body was discovered on last week, sparking massive protests across the country. Aslan’s case has become the rallying point for the protests and the symbol of the struggle for gender equality in Turkey.

What do you think? Has the Turkish government done enough to address the status of women in the country? What additional steps, if any, do you think the government should undertake?

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Gender and Religious Freedom

It’s long been noted by development experts that the single fastest and most powerful development tool is protecting gender equality, particularly by empowering women and girls through education and health care. But such goals often run afoul of cultural and religious preferences and beliefs, as the experience of women in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sudan attest.

The most recent example is that of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who had faced the death penalty for marrying Daniel Wani, a US citizen and non-Muslim. The case had drawn worldwide attention, particularity from conservative American politicians, who viewed Ibrahim’s case as an example of Islamic attacks on Christians. Ibrahim’s death sentence was overturned on Monday and she was freed from jail. But yesterday she was again detained by Sudanese officials who contend that she attempted to leave the country using illegal documents—emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese government.